Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music

Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
Composer Georg Frideric Handel
Artist Roberto Loreggian harpsichord
Michael Borgstede harpsichord
Format 8 CD
Cat. number 95235
EAN code 5028421952352
Release January 2016

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About this release

The most ‘complete’ set of Handel’s music for solo keyboard ever issued in a single release, this box is also testament to the taste and expertise of two superb musicians who have been immersed in the stylish performance of Baroque music for decades. Michael Borgstede’s recording of 15 suites was first released by Brilliant in 2008, and won warm opinions for the same qualities that graced his discs of Bach, Forqueray and Couperin: ‘spruce performances,’ according to Gramophone, ‘consistent in textural clarity, crisp ornamentation and level-headed grasp of the music.’

Now the four discs of the suites are joined by new recordings, previously unissued, made by Roberto Loreggian, who masterminded the complete Frescobaldi Edition (BC94111) on Brilliant Classics. These include many single-movement airs and fugues that were probably written for instructional purposes while he was active as a teacher, both in Hamburg and in service to the Duke of Chandos. Although Handel became music tutor to the children of the Prince of Wales (later George II) in the early 1720s, he does not seem to have composed any significant new harpsichord works as teaching aids for them, apart from the two charming suites (HWV447, 452) written for Princess Louisa in 1739.

Across these eight discs and the decades that Handel spent composing the music on them, in between the operas and oratorios that were the principal source of his fame in his own lifetime, we may readily perceive both a mastery of his instrument as well as a more playful attitude to its capacities than is demonstrated by Bach in both his virtuoso and didactic works for keyboard. He was also even more ready than his Leipzig contemporary to reuse material, especially melodies, where it suited him to place them in another context, and so tunes from his vocal works can frequently be encountered in the dances and airs.

The box includes extensive booklet notes by both Borgstede and Loreggian: it is an essential purchase for anyone familiar with Handel only through the restricted canon of his popular classics such as Messiah and the Water Music.

This 8CD set contains the complete harpsichord works by Handel!
Handel was, like his contemporaries J.S. Bach and Scarlatti, a formidable keyboard player, a virtuoso displaying “an uncommon brilliancy and command of finger” (Handel’s first biographer John Mainwaring). Although Handel’s focus was on opera and oratorio (much more commercial…) his output for the harpsichord is of high quality, great variety and instrumental originality.
Handel’s best known and popular works for the harpsichord are the 8 great suites, beautiful melodious works written for professionals and amateurs. Further he wrote a great quantity of separate preludes, fugues, lessons, dances, chaconnes.
Excellent performances by two keyboard specialists: the suites are played by Michael Borgstede: “textual clarity, crisp ornamentation and complete grasp of the music” (Gramophone). The other works are played by one of the foremost Italian keyboard players, Roberto Loreggian, who recorded successfully for Brilliant Classics works by Frescobaldi, Gabrieli and Vivaldi.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: I. Praeludium
  2. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: II. Allemande
  3. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: III. Courante
  4. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: IV. Sarabande – Double
  5. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: V. Gigue
  6. Suite in C Major, HWV 443: VI. Chaconne
  7. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: I. Preludio
  8. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: II. Allemande
  9. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: III. Courante
  10. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: IV. Sarabande
  11. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: V. Gigue
  12. Partita in G Major, HWV 450: VI. Menuet
  13. Prelude in D Minor, HWV 563
  14. Prelude and Capriccio in G Major, HWV 571: I. Prelude
  15. Prelude and Capriccio in G Major, HWV 571: II. Capriccio
  16. Suite in G Minor, HWV 453: I. Overture. Grave – Allegro
  17. Suite in G Minor, HWV 453: II. Entrée
  18. Suite in G Minor, HWV 453: III. Chaconne
  19. Prelude in D Minor, HWV 564
  20. Allegro in C Major, HWV 472
  21. Chaconne in F Major, HWV 485
  22. Suite in D Minor, HWV 448: I. Overture: Grave – Allegro –Adagio – Allegro
  23. Suite in D Minor, HWV 448: II. Allemande
  24. Suite in D Minor, HWV 448: III. Courante
  25. Suite in D Minor, HWV 448: IV. Sarabande I – Sarabande II
  26. Suite in D Minor, HWV 448: V. Chaconne

Disk 2

  1. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: I. Prelude
  2. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: II. Allemande
  3. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: III. Courante
  4. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: IV. Sarabande
  5. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: V. Aria
  6. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: VI. Gigue
  7. Suite in D Minor, HWV 449: VII. Menuet
  8. Keyboard Sonatina in D Minor, HWV 581
  9. Allemande in A Minor, HWV 478
  10. Fugue in F Major, HWV 611
  11. Chaconne in G Minor, HWV 486
  12. Partita in C Minor, HWV 444: I. Prelude
  13. Partita in C Minor, HWV 444: II. Allemande
  14. Partita in C Minor, HWV 444: III. Courante
  15. Partita in C Minor, HWV 444: IV. Gavotte
  16. Partita in C Minor, HWV 444: V. Menuet
  17. Suite in C Minor, HWV 445: I. Prelude
  18. Suite in C Minor, HWV 445: II. Allemande
  19. Suite in C Minor, HWV 445: III. Courante
  20. Prelude and Allegro in A Minor, HWV 576: I. Prelude
  21. Prelude and Allegro in A Minor, HWV 576: II. Allegro
  22. Air in G Minor, HWV 467
  23. Toccata in G Minor, HWV 586
  24. Keyboard Sonatina in G Minor, HWV 583
  25. Keyboard Sonata in G Minor, HWV 580: Larghetto
  26. Concerto in G Major, HWV 487: I. Allegro
  27. Concerto in G Major, HWV 487: II. Andante
  28. Air in B-Flat Major, HWV 471
  29. Preludium in F Major, HWV 567
  30. Preludium in F Minor, HWV 568
  31. Prelude in G Minor, HWV 573
  32. Prelude in E Major, HWV 566
  33. Air in G Minor, HWV 466
  34. Air in B-Flat Major, HWV 470
  35. Impertinence in G Minor, HWV 494
  36. Air in F Major, HWV 465
  37. Allegro in D Minor, HWV 475
  38. Courante in B Minor, HWV 489

Disk 3

  1. Prelude and Chaconne in G Major, HWV 442: I. Prelude
  2. Prelude and Chaconne in G Major, HWV 442: II. Chaconne
  3. Six Fugues: I. Fugue No. 1 in G Minor, HWV 605
  4. Six Fugues: II. Fugue No. 2 in G Major, HWV 606
  5. Six Fugues: III. Fugue No. 3 in B-Flat Major, HWV 607
  6. Six Fugues: IV. Fugue No. 4 in B Minor, HWV 608
  7. Six Fugues: V. Fugue No. 5 in A Minor, HWV 609
  8. Six Fugues: VI. Fugue No. 6 in C Minor, HWV 610
  9. Keyboard Sonata in C Major, HWV 577
  10. Capriccio in F Major, HWV 481
  11. Prelude and Allegro in G Minor, HWV 574
  12. Fantasia in C Major, HWV 490
  13. Suite in D Minor, HWV 447: I. Allemande
  14. Suite in D Minor, HWV 447: II. Courante
  15. Suite in D Minor, HWV 447: III. Sarabande
  16. Suite in D Minor, HWV 447: IV. Gigue
  17. Suite in G Minor, HWV 452: I. Allemande
  18. Suite in G Minor, HWV 452: II. Courante
  19. Suite in G Minor, HWV 452: III. Sarabande
  20. Suite in G Minor, HWV 452: IV. Gigue
  21. Capriccio in G Minor, HWV 483

Disk 4

  1. Suite in C Minor, HWV 446: I. Allemande
  2. Suite in C Minor, HWV 446: II. Courante
  3. Suite in C Minor, HWV 446: III. Sarabande
  4. Suite in C Minor, HWV 446: IV. Chaconne
  5. Allemande in A Major, HWV 477
  6. Allemande in F Major, HWV 476
  7. Gigue in F Major, HWV 492
  8. Prelude in D Minor, HWV 562
  9. Keyboard Sonatina in G Major, HWV 582
  10. Keyboard Sonatina in B-Flat Major, HWV 585
  11. Prelude in F-Sharp Minor, HWV 570
  12. Air in A Major, HWV 468
  13. Sonata for a Musical Clock in C Major, HWV 578: I. Allegro
  14. Sonata for a Musical Clock in C Major, HWV 578: II. Trio. Larghetto
  15. Sonata for a Musical Clock in C Major, HWV 578: III. Gavotte. Non troppo presto
  16. Prelude in A Minor, HWV 575
  17. Lesson in A Minor, HWV 496
  18. Partita in A Major, HWV 454: I. Allemande
  19. Partita in A Major, HWV 454: II. Courante
  20. Partita in A Major, HWV 454: III. Sarabande
  21. Partita in A Major, HWV 454: IV. Gigue
  22. Prelude in G Minor, HWV 572
  23. Keyboard Sonata in G Majro, HWV 579

Disk 5

  1. Suite in A Major, HWV 426: I. Prelude
  2. Suite in A Major, HWV 426: II. Allemande
  3. Suite in A Major, HWV 426: III. Courante
  4. Suite in A Major, HWV 426: IV. Gigue
  5. Suite in F Major, HWV 427: I. Adagio
  6. Suite in F Major, HWV 427: II. Allegro
  7. Suite in F Major, HWV 427: III. Adagio
  8. Suite in F Major, HWV 427: IV. Allegro
  9. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: I. Prelude. Presto
  10. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: II. Allegro
  11. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: III. Allemande
  12. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: IV. Courante
  13. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: V. Air
  14. Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: VI. Presto
  15. Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: I. Allegro
  16. Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: II. Allemande
  17. Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: III. Courante
  18. Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: IV. Sarabande
  19. Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: V. Gigue

Disk 6

  1. Suite in E Major, HWV 430: I. Prelude
  2. Suite in E Major, HWV 430: II. Allemande
  3. Suite in E Major, HWV 430: III. Courante
  4. Suite in E Major, HWV 430: IV. Air
  5. Suite in F-Sharp Minor, HWV 431: I. Prelude
  6. Suite in F-Sharp Minor, HWV 431: II. Largo
  7. Suite in F-Sharp Minor, HWV 431: III. Allegro
  8. Suite in F-Sharp Minor, HWV 431: IV. Gigue. Presto
  9. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: I. Overture. Largo – Presto – Lentement
  10. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: II. Andante
  11. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: III. Allegro
  12. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: IV. Sarabande
  13. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: V. Gigue
  14. Suite in G Minor, HWV 432: VI. Passacaille
  15. Suite in F Minor, HWV 433: I. Prelude. Adagio
  16. Suite in F Minor, HWV 433: II. Fugue
  17. Suite in F Minor, HWV 433: III. Allemande
  18. Suite in F Minor, HWV 433: IV. Courante
  19. Suite in F Minor, HWV 433: V. Gigue

Disk 7

  1. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: I. Prelude
  2. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: II. Sonata
  3. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: III. Aria con variazioni
  4. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: IV. Minuet
  5. Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435
  6. Suite in D Minor, HWV 436: I. Allemande
  7. Suite in D Minor, HWV 436: II. Allegro
  8. Suite in D Minor, HWV 436: III. Air. Lentement
  9. Suite in D Minor, HWV 436: IV. Gigue. Presto
  10. Suite in D Minor, HWV 436: V. Menuetto
  11. Suite in D Minor, HWV 437: I. Allmand
  12. Suite in D Minor, HWV 437: II. Corrant
  13. Suite in D Minor, HWV 437: III. Saraband
  14. Suite in D Minor, HWV 437: IV. Jigg
  15. Suite in E Minor, HWV 438: I. Allmand
  16. Suite in E Minor, HWV 438: II. Saraband
  17. Suite in E Minor, HWV 438: III. Jigg

Disk 8

  1. Suite in G Minor, HWV 439: I. Allmand
  2. Suite in G Minor, HWV 439: II. Corrant
  3. Suite in G Minor, HWV 439: III. Jigg
  4. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 440: I. Allmand
  5. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 440: II. Corrant
  6. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 440: III. Saraband
  7. Suite in B-Flat Major, HWV 440: IV. Jigg
  8. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: I. Allemande
  9. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: II. Allegro
  10. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: III. Corante
  11. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: IV. Aria. Presto
  12. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: V. Menuetto
  13. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: VI. Gavotta
  14. Suite in G Major, HWV 441: VII. Gigue
  15. Preludio. Allegro
  16. Rinaldo, HWV 7b: “Vo’ far Guerra”